A tradition in our family is to “surprise” the birthday person by slathering butter, or the non-dairy equivalent as the case may be on their nose. I took a Folklore class during undergrad where I learned that this tradition is meant to encourage the birthday individual to move smoothly into their new year. Variations on the butter include peanut butter and…get this, grease. Moving or perhaps sliding smoothly into your next year and in my case my 26th year (turning 25, finishing the 25th year, ah numbers). Remember transitions? My sister put a hefty and surprisingly well shaped square cut of butter on my nose. As I struggled to keep it from sliding off while the camera was being fumbled about I thought about the transition I was going through and how smooth I could expect it to be. Life has not felt smooth especially with the impending tooth removal, echocardiogram (long story), trying to secure a place to live in NYC and so on.
Recently (yesterday) a heated discussion appeared on my sister’s facebook wall regarding Israeli/Palestinian issues. I found that I did not like the idea of attempting to have a civilized and intelligent discussion/argument over a facebook wall. It became obnoxious and I found myself almost falling prey to it. Discussions over the internet are very impersonal and it makes it easy to forget that you are actually partaking in discourse with other individuals. My point is people seem to feel they can say nearly anything, there are less consequences or at least it feels that way.
In my opinion becoming overly defensive, using inflammatory language and becoming too emotional over a topic detracts from any progress or enlightenment the exchange might bring about. Unfortunately this is what happens most often. It is difficult to see why anyone should put any effort into being open-minded and considerate if it falls on deaf ears…or more accurately blind eyes. It makes an already exhausting situation even more draining with little gain. I wish that encouraging decorum and disagreeing in a constructive manner would have any effect on people but more often than not people ignore it or claim that their overreaction is only a necessary response to someone else’s overreaction. It is frustrating.
.transitions. Attempting to make them smooth sometimes makes it more rough but the attempt is what is important….right?